By on February 24, 2014

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Along with the Dodge Avenger, the Chrysler 200 convertible won’t be returning to showrooms alongside the upgraded 2015 model.

With sales of the droptop 200 reportedly falling to less than 5 percent of sales, the decision to skip the expensive re-engineering process for a convertible model was made. Chrysler will instead focus their resources on the mid-size market, rather than the niche convertible segment.

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61 Comments on “Chrysler 200 Convertible Bids Farewell To America’s Rental Lots...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Stupid move to abandon this market instead of creating a credible entry.

    I’ll wait for the Cascada variant…

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Opel Cascada will be a game changer just as the Opel Astra/Buick Verano it is based on is with the Buick stealing 40% of it’s segment in sales. Espeially considering Toyota abandoned convertibles and Honda will never be a player.

      http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2013-chrysler-200-convertible-v-6-test-review

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The question in everyone’s mind will be, can I get it with a Trifecta tune?

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        The Opel Cascada/Buick(Skylark, Wildcat, Calibra?) would be a great replacement in the market for the 200 convertible. Unfortunately, we are dealing with GM here. They seem to be too stupid to realize it would sell, and then if they do bring it over, they will ridiculously overprice it like they seem to be doing with all their recent new products, and then of course, it WON’T sell.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nah they’ll just overprice it so it won’t sell and then complain how niche markets are dead and everything has to be a S/CUV.

          • 0 avatar

            Which begs the question why GM hasn’t followed Nissan’s lead and built a convertible CUV a la Murano CrossCabriolet?

            It’ll be exactly what they think customers want, only to be proven otherwise in the sales figures sheets.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        It will be a game changer in that it will divert resources that could go to models people actually buy. Convertibles are the ultimate niche and if one wants a convertible there is likely one out there for them. Toyota abandoned the segment because no one purchased them.

        Is there that much pent up demand for a front wheel drive convertible that even if this thing succeeds beyond expectations it could be classes as a game changer? We aren’t talking a halo convertible here…were talking about a car that occupies a niche vacated by the Toyota Solara and the Chrysler Lebaron.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Chrysler has been offering a convertible in this segment since ’82, so kind of the end of an era.

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      My inlaws bought new a K-car convertible back in the day. I never knew there was one until I saw it in storage. They since sold it for about what they paid for it new. (Believe it or not!)

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    A moment of silence at car rental counters across America.

    What convertibles are left that are reasonably priced and can seat 4? Sure there is the Mustang. I’m sure there are great deals on remaining 14 models before the all new 15 is introduced. Camaro? A bit tight for a 6’2″ person like myself. I sat in a coupe and found it to be tight. The Volvo C70 is being phased out. Probably some decent deals on those. VW Eos? They have that chick car rep and VW reliability. There is a company that does Challenger convertible conversions. Plenty roomy with a large trunk. A few dealers stock them. If you don’t need 4 seats the answer is Miata.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ60LandCruiser

      Here in CO and at the Denver airport, most of the Your-a-peean tourists seem to be cramming into Mustangs or their familiar VW EOS’s, then baking their skin off in the thin atmosphere.

      The Chrysler was more popular in Florida, where the two rentals you saw leaving Orlando airport were TV crew white Caravans and Sebrings. Nothing really lets you breathe in the flavor of the Pine Hills ghetto like four lost German tourists in a top-down rental, trying to ask the local bangers for directions…

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        FJ60, Thanks for the smile. Drove a white rental Sebring ‘vert from Naples to Key West to Miami on our honeymoon. It got the job done. We enjoyed driving through the June humidity with the top down and the AC blasting. It kept up. This was the perfect car for the mission.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      The last in a long line of cheap convertible losses for rental companies — just five years ago, you might well have ended up with a G6, a Solara, or (heaven help you!) a PT Cruiser.

      I have been seeing a reasonable number of Beetle convertibles on rental lots; they’re cheaper than either the Mustang or the Camaro. And I bet rental lots will see the last examples of the Murano CrossCabriolet…

      Probably the closest thing to a reasonable 4 seater would be the Lexus IS250C, which starts in the low 40s.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        The Lexus is neither reasonable in price or as a “4”-seater.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          You’re right about the leg room — I hadn’t looked it up, but boy do they lose a lot of it in the convertible conversion. Way more than the Chrysler.

          The price isn’t out of rental leagues, though — it starts under $43k. That’s about $5k more than a Mustang GT, which does turn up on rental lots, and fairly comparable to a lot of the higher-end crossovers that they rent for roughly the same price.

          It won’t be their bread and butter, but it may help round out the lineup.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        A5 cabriolet.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      There’s that Nissan Murano, the MINI Cooper, the VW Beetle, Jeep Wrangler, and Fiat 500 sort of.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      The VW Eos is a little tight in the back seat too. The VW Beetle is probably the last one to offer a convertible and reasonable rear leg room. You could go for a Mustang convertible if you don’t mind sawing off a couple legs and throwing them in the trunk.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    “Stupid move to abandon this market” ?

    Car Fans love to see all kinds of body styles for sale to admire, but then don’t ever buy them. Rental car only business is a dead end. Lots of unsold ‘program cars’ clog the used car market.

    They have poor resale, and lost profits doing R&D work for the drop top option. Who is willing to pay for it? “I never buy a new car” is what most car hobbyists say.

    Again, FCA needs to make money, not satisfy fan-people’s hobby of looking at new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Car Fans love to see all kinds of body styles for sale to admire, but then don’t ever buy them.”

      Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!

      I suppose the same can be said for many readers here about ANY new car, except for the three – I mean TWO who want a small diesel manual wagon… in brown…

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Not brown or diesel, but I have bought two manual station wagons in the past 5 years or so. Would have bought another one if BMW would sell me one, I rather like the F31.

        Plus a manual turbo 3dr hatch bought new too.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Convertibles should look sexy. Let’s face it, this last iteration of the Sebring/200 was far from sexy. It’s too bad because the 2015 200 would have been a great looking base from which to create an attractive convertible model. The original iterations of the LeBaron/Sebring droptops were good looking and roomy cars that offered the wind-in-your-hair and bugs-in-your-teeth experience at an affordable price. Shame, that option will now be missing in the car market.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I remember how many LeBarons I used to see, everywhere! None of them lived too long, apparently. I also recall the ugliest color option, the very light mist blue/green metallic, which was also painted on older Daytonas.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re a little cruel – the 200 isn’t very sexy, but it’s not a bad looking car by any means.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        The refresh did wonders for it, agreed, but I always thought the narrow C-pillar roofline of the convertible, necessitated by the folding hard-top roof option (much like the Eos), was never as good looking as that large swath of fabric on the earlier iterations, just doesn’t have that same “convertible” look with a folding metal top.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Okay, I’m a Baby Boomer, well, now a “Baby Buster” thanks to The Great Recession (lost my job and my 2,500 sq ft house and now in a 560 sq ft condo, but hey that’s a whole ‘nother story). Anyhoo, I grew up during the heyday of the “specialty coupe”. Cars like the Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, Thunderbird, Cougar and Cordoba. Given the nostalgic popularity of the “muscle coupes” like Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, I think there is an equally pent up demand for the return of the mid-size specialty coupe/convertible, particularly in this sea of look alike mid-size sedan clones we must swim through these days. Would love to see Chrysler take the new 200 sedan platform and create a distinctively stylish, yet affordable coupe and convertible version, and call it, yes, the Cordoba. Same for Ford doing a Thunderbird off the Fusion, Chevy a Monte Carlo off the Malibu. These are nameplates that carry a lot of the same cache as the muscle car nameplates do. Bet the Baby Boomers/Busters, and a lot of others for that matter, would snap them right up.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I suspect the sales of downsized pseudo- personal-luxury coupes wouldn’t be as big as you imagine. It would be like the modern version of the 2-seater Thunderbird: that sold to a handful of 55-plus buyers, but not enough of them to recover development costs.

      Face it, fellow boomer, the times, they have changed. There used to be full sized convertibles, even 4 door models, like the ’65 Continental, but they gave way to smaller personal lux coupes and convertibles, and by the ’80s primarily the K-car derivatives. The Sebring/200 was the final legacy of that, and the only convertibles you’ll see in the future will be 2-seat roadsters.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’m going to disagree here – buyers want cars that are as multi-functional as possible these days, because they may not be able to trade them in as often as they used to.

      I believe that’s why CUVs are so damn popular – they will pretty much do anything a car owner would ever want it to, from daily commuting to getting a plasma TV home.

      Personal luxury coupes were basically one-trick ponies – they were made to troll around town in style. They were great at that, but bad at everything else. That wasn’t such a problem when people traded cars as often as they did back then, but with most buyers taking out minimum four year loans these days, you never have enough equity to trade until you’re late in your loan term, or the loan is paid off.

      Unfortunately, the day of the Monte Carlo has ended. Sad, but that’s the way it is these days.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        One could say the same for the Mustang, Camaro and Challenger, yet they seem to be holding their own in sales. Today’s CUV buyers are yesterday’s former station wagon buyers, they wouldn’t buy a coupe anyway. A lot of Baby Boomers/Busters are now empty nesters that don’t require the cargo hauling capacity of a CUV/SUV. The mortgage is paid off, college tuition paid for, and they just might something with a little style instead of a boring sedan that everyone else is driving.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    as much as i dislike fwd thingos this thing has some merit

    only 4,000lb with a 6 spd auto and the trusty pentastar v6

    i can see cruising this on warm summer nights

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You’re joking right with “only 4000lb?”

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        The days of 3400 lb. midsized cars is over, along with 2800 lb. compacts. With crash safety, roof stiffness and sound deadening materials added, most mid-sized cars will run around two tons curb weight. Add AWD and you’re looking at close to 5,000 lb. mid-sized cars. It’s a testament to technology that they get 20-28 mpg and sub 10 second 0-60 times with all that weight, when older full sized 4,000 lb. cars were getting 12-15 mpg and 15 second times with V8 engines.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Can you please keep it real on your curb weights? Go and check some figures. My giant M has a heavy V6 and AWD, and it’s only at 4200.

          Show me a mid-size sedan with AWD which is 5,000 lbs. Do it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Sedan? Did I say sedan? I said cars, and that would include a midsized CUV. Some of those will approach 5,000 lbs., especially the loaded luxury models. I know it’s Monday, but you’re a bit testy and combative today, Corey.

          • 0 avatar
            mkirk

            My freaking 80 series Land Cruiser was like 5000 pounds and they are notorious pigs. Overbuilt, iron block inline 6, bus transmission, solid front axle…you get the point.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You said “midsize car.” To 90% of human beings who speak English, midsize car means “car” or “sedan,” not CUV.

            It’s fairly difficult to be combative through a screen, but you’re headed down troll alley – so be on your merry way!

  • avatar

    I’ve seen reports that there are higher occurences of skin cancer on the left side of the driver’s body because this side has more contact with sunlight than the right. You’re probably better off!

  • avatar
    grassharp

    And there goes the Lancia Flavia too. Never seen one, and I doubt if anyone else has ever seen the Flavia. Now that Fiat announced that Lancia will go down the drain, the Flavia will not be missed.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    It would be nice if VW brought over the new Golf cabriolet…

  • avatar
    Ion

    Large sun roofs are like modern day t-tops, effectively replacing convertibles like the t-tops did in the late 70’s. More likely than not though Chrysler lost its convertible so when the Alfa Romeo Spyder gets here they won’t cannibalized each other.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    While not cheap, there is the Lexus IS 250 C and 350 C. I doubt that you’ll see many of them as rentals.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Now, hurry down and be the first to rent a Murano CrossCabriolet!

  • avatar
    sirwired

    My wife loves her ’06 Solara; usable back seat, regular-car-sized trunk, Toyota reliability, reasonable price. (And with the top dropped, it doesn’t look too bad.) We have no idea what we’ll replace it with when it’s used up…

    It handles like a wallowing pig, so I’m not a huge fan (except on really nice “convertible days”), but she really likes the car.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    Between the massive shift away from two doors, and sharing showroom space with the more affordable 500C (which, while tiny, wasn’t significantly more cramped considering how much smaller its footprint is) and the more practical Wrangler (especially the Unlimited), the 200’s time was limited.

    Spending 7 or so seasons as a punch line and Michael Scott’s ride of choice on The Office probably wasn’t a good sign either.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Kind of a shame…I always had a soft spot for this car. I drove one with the folding metal roof and it was damn nice.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Based on inflation calculators etc, how did the 200 convertible compare to the LeBaron convertible? I always got the impression that the 200 was kind of expensive for what it was and that hampered sales.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      For part of your question – I just looked, and a Limited one is around $32k. Probably a bit steep.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        Looks like base MSRP on the ’95 LeBaron convertible was $17,469. That’s $26,812 today, not far from the $27,950 base on the 200.

        I have a feeling that reflects a reduction from the Daimler days, though.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Oh how time changes perception. I was graduating high school in 95 and in my mind the LeBaron convertible stood out as an “affordable” convertible. Now as an adult I perceive the 200 as “expensive”.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re not nearly as old as I was thinking ya were.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @CoreyDL, the avatar is a joke on the physical similarity between Bob Lutz and Leslie Nielsen. I used Lutz as an avatar for a while and he kept being mistook for Leslie so I changed my avatar to Leslie as “SPY HARD” which is how Bob pictures himself in his head.

            I’m 36, younger at heart in maturity, older soul in my judgement and discernment.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol I didn’t know about the avatar history.

            But I was thinking of how you talk about things, and made me assume you were late 40s.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            It’s only expensive if you buy it new. The used prices on these are crazy low.

            All just part of the Chrysler Ownership Experience…

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Chrysler did what they could with these; unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save them.

    Couple a (historically) complete lacking of all possible refinement in conjunction with changing demographics, and you get the red-headed stepchild that is the Chrysler 200 drop top.

    Though this model pictured is far better than the trainwrecks they used to sphew into the American market, I still have nightmares about the 90’s to early 2000’s Chrylser Sebrings.

    And to think people actually bought them…?

    I still remember those Sebrings, the joke of the industry, with interiors clad with bargain basement plastics everywhere and glue throughout. Let’s not discuss performance and handling of those monstrosities.

    Chrysler and convertible are two words that -at least in more recent years- are, in my humble opinion, incompatible.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I think Chrysler is making a mistake having only one bland looking mid size in there lineup with no convertible and no sporty Dodge variant. And from the time I spent looking at a gray 2015 Dart er ah 200 at the auto show this cramped mid size is going to be a tough sell for those used to Accords and Sonatas if interior room is valuable to you.


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